by Will Ford and Abbey Maclure
An online course for healthcare professionals and carers who look after people with dementia has been re-developed by the University of Bradford.
The course, named ‘e-dementia’, was improved by the University to reflect changes in the dementia training curriculum.
Alongside healthcare advice and expert opinion, the course includes personal stories from people who suffer from the illness.
Murna Downs, a professor of Dementia Studies at the University, said: “Threaded throughout the sessions are personal testimonials from people living with dementia – the challenges they face and the joys they experience.
“We have got a great commitment to make the voice of the person as important as the voice of the professor.
“Rather than hearing a list of different aspects of dementia, to hear a person describe how they struggle with paying for a pint is much more poignant and memorable.”
The course is designed to be used in a variety of ways by professionals, from inductions for new carers to refresher training.
It can also be used by home carers to enable people living with dementia and their family to live as well as possible, across the country.
Murna said that while more research in the field is welcomed, societal change is also vital to support those with dementia.
She said: “We build ramps for people with wheelchairs, but how do we accommodate or adapt our society to support people who don’t quite know where they are, but love to be out in the fresh air?
“Or people who like to go to the pub but feel lost when they go to the loo?
“It is government policy that people should be able to stay home as long as possible, but social services have cut a lot of the support that helps to keep people living at home.
“There is not a consistency between the government mantra and the service provision.”